Do you find your kitchen boring? Cooking for pleasure will transform your kitchen. This turns the kitchen into a place of fun and experimentation, which results in wonderful meals and time well-spent. Here are a few tips to give you a few ideas.
Do you often throw away moldy fruits and feel bad about it? Is it safe to save a portion of fruit by cutting around the mold? Unfortunately, you cannot save half rotten fruit and expect it to be healthy. The mold and spoilage that you can see is only part of the problem with marginal-looking fruit; even the parts that appear pristine can be unsafe to eat.
Protect your spice and herb collection by storing your jars at room temperature in a dark place. The flavor of the spices and herbs will decrease if they are kept in areas with light, humidity, and heat. Most spices will retain their flavor for about a year. Spices in their whole form can be stored for between 3 to 5 years. Storing your spices properly can help you achieve a longer shelf-life for your spices.
Whenever you have a meal to cook, if you do your all your prep work ahead of time, it will be much less stressful and quicker. Try looking at recipes and see what can be done in advance without spoiling. You can make a lot of your preparations a day or more in advance. Doing this can transform intricate recipes into simple, quick and enjoyable cooking tasks.
If you are just beginning to cook more of your meals, go straight to the nearest bookstore or library to find a cookbook that has simple, fun recipes. Experiment with a few, and be patient; remember, you’re learning new skills.
The mushrooms will just absorb the water. Get a soft, clean and wet cloth to wipe the dirt off each individual mushroom for better results.
When you are baking pastry crusts, try increasing the cooking time a bit. It will help if you achieve a darker, more delicious golden caramel color, rather than stopping when the crust is still pale. The golden color is a sign that the sugars in the crust have finally caramelized.
After you have prepared some sauce, freeze the leftovers in ice cube trays. All you need to do next time you want to use it, is reheat in a saucepan. And don’t worry, your sauce will still taste great even after freezing.
Preparation is key when cooking for family or friends. You need to have the ingredients readily available. Assemble utensils and other needed equipment before you start to cook. Taking the time to prepare yourself will guarantee that the meal will be a success.
Do you know how long your meat should be grilled? Whenever you are grilling it is advisable to have a quality cooking thermometer handy to ensure thoroughly cooked meat. If possible use a digital meat thermometer to obtain a more accurate reading. Put the grill lid on to reduce cooking time for cuts that are more than an inch and a half thick.
If you are preparing stir-fry, be sure to slice the meat on the bias and very thin. There’s a trick to this, and it can take a little time. When the meat is not quite frozen, take it out of the freezer and slice it against the grain at an angle of 45 degrees.
When you are purchasing food to make a recipe, read your labels. Ordinary cooking staples can contain polysyllabic artificial ingredients that are bad for you. Some things to check for include high levels of sugar or sodium, as both are common contributors to many health problems.
Prepare dishes that you’re an expert at when you’re cooking for someone important in your life, such as a supervisor or a new partner. You should never attempt to cook some new dish or even a new ingredient you’ve never attempted. This can keep your stress levels in check while you cook.
Before cooking pumpkins, cut them up and place them on a baking sheet flesh side up. Lay the cut halves on individual baking pans. Lightly sprinkle a bit of water over the pans, then bake the pumpkin for about one hour in an oven heated to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
For crispier French fries, you should chill the peeled potatoes in water for 30 minutes or more before frying them. The soaking process will reinforce the vegetable fibers, and they will be better able to withstand heat when you fry them.
Measure out your cooking oil! Use only the required amount of oil necessary, and resist pouring straight from the bottle to the cooking pan, to reduce the fat content in your foods. Measuring your oil instead of estimating allows you to closely approximate the fat content in your dish.
This is a great way to increase the length of time the fruits stay fresh. This also gives you access to seasonal fruits that might otherwise not be available at the time you want them.
Cooks need to keep cooking supplies organized. An unorganized kitchen is an unhappy kitchen. You will have difficulty finding what you want to make your delicious recipes. Store similar items together in the same place. For example, you want to organize your spices such as parsley and basil in one cabinet.
Substituting another liquid for milk or water can help give your meals a new flavor. If the recipe calls for water, try using chicken or beef broth, or even the water that you used to cook your vegetables in. If your favorite recipes call for milk, try substituting with buttermilk, yogurt or sour cream. Changing up the liquids in your recipes can add nutrition, while livening up a standby dish.
Replace your spices every six months at the very least. The flavor of spices diminishes if they sit around for too long. If you have spices that you don’t intend to use any time soon, give it as a gift to someone who will use it.
You can make meal preparation a breeze by doing part of the food prep in advance. Marinate your meat or cut up the vegetables ahead of time. This way, your next meal will only require a modicum of effort, making dinner stress-free.
Stay healthy by making sure your utensils do not have leftover scraps or any sort of dirt before you use them. If your utensils are not completely clean, you run the risk of introducing old food residue into whatever you are cooking. Beyond that, dirty utensils allow bacteria to grow which could make you ill.
Being highly organized is necessary when you are preparing several dishes at the same time. If not, you are sure to burn or overcook something. You can be more productive, if your cooking station is well organized. Unorganized cooking stations may mean you lose money and valuable food that is better suited to eating.
Place unripened fruits in a plastic bag that is perforated right after you buy them. Some fruits, like apples, produce ethylene gas as they ripen. By placing them in a plastic bag with holes, air will circulate in the bag, making sure that ethylene gas is retained, and the fruit keeps its great taste.
Let your food rest a bit before sitting down to eat. A lot of people don’t understand the importance of letting a meal sit for a while. We are inclined to serve meat and other foods as soon as they are cooked. However, your meal could be much more enjoyable if you wait. Therefore, it is always best to allow the juices to redistribute by allowing for a cool down period.
When preparing a meal, make sure you have clean cooking utensils. If there is leftover food on your utensils from the last meal you cooked, it could contaminate the food you are making now. This could lead to problems from bacteria being spread.
Before chopping fresh herbs sprinkle some salt on the cutting board. The salt will keep the herbs on the board and add extra flavor as well. Do not add too much salt to your dish. That salt on the board adds some flavor since it sticks to the herbs.
Having a clean and organized kitchen is essential to cooking a great meal or dessert. Your time spent cooking will also be more productive if you are organized. If you just cook without a plan, you will waste lots of food, which is the same as wasting lots of money.
Ensure that herbs and spices are stored in an area that is dark, dry and cool. Exposure to humidity, heat and light can cause your spices to lose their flavor fast. Constant exposure to these elements will ruin herbs and spices.
Homemade stock can add flavor to many dishes. You can make this in large batches, and freeze some for later use in resealable freezer bags. This ensures that tasty, homemade stock is always available when the time comes to prepare soups and other recipes. If you make your own stock, it will not be full of preservatives.
Make sure to use fresh herbs and seasonings whenever cooking a simple dish. Dried herbs, such as thyme, basil or oregano, are fine for dishes with complex flavors. Fresh herbs are preferable because of the more intense flavors that they add to the food. To keep yourself always supplied with herbs you might want to grow some of your own.
Use these tips as-is, or spice them up and make them your own. Make meals that will relax you and that you can enjoy and your family will appreciate them as well. Learning to cook can help you to improve your diet, and it can also enhance your quality of life. Your kitchen should be the place your family goes for some good home cookin’.
Potatoes come in many different varieties, and you can’t always substitute one for another. For example, there are waxy potatoes that are ideal for making potato salad and boiled potatoes but are a poor choice for french fries, baked potatoes, or mashed potatoes. For something like that, you’re best off using a fluffy type of potato, like a Russet.